Geo/spatial/location/GIS is everywhere now-a-days. That is awesome. No longer is what we do a specific niche that is only found in a small set of industries. Openstreetmap, location aware devices, dropping pins, Google maps – everywhere you look geo/spatial/location/GIS matters. Heck, even Gizmodo has a “Maps” tag.
This ubiquity is both a blessing and a curse. Thanks to the every growing understanding of what we collectively do there has been some abuse of a few keywords throughout the geo-world (some of which I am guilty of). For 2013 I think we should retire a few terms to keep us (me) sane. Here is my short list.
1. Heatmap -Heatmaps are one of my least favorite cartographic representations of data across space. I love density maps, choropleth maps, and interpolated surfaces, but misrepresenting data for the sake a cool map is a giant pet peeve of mine. Let’s make a conscience effort in 2013 to stop people from using the term heatmap to describe any map with bright colors on it.
2. Cloud – We get it. Enough already. To the Cloud!
3. Analytics – Overused and abused term #3. What are you actually analyzing? I love identifying and understanding patterns across space, it’s what I do everyday, but let’s lay off using the term analytics to represent any type of math or stats done on a spatial dataset. To me analytics involve higher level operations, whereas I think people often use the term to represent basic stats.
4. Big Data – You have big data, I have big data, we all have big data. Question. What is big data?
These opinions are mine and mine alone. Are there any geo related terms that you think have been overused in 2012 and need to be retired in 2013? Leave a comment. This could be fun.